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PCC Enrollment Eclipses 40,000-Mark for Fall Term
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. – Enrollment at Portland Community College is not just up, it’s way up. The latest figures are in and PCC is attracting more students than ever before. As of Oct. 29, the end of the fifth week of fall term, the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) students in the PCC district this fall term has surged by 8.8 percent and total headcount is up 4.1 percent from the same time last fall. The increase has put the college over the 40,000-student mark for fall term to 41,444, up by 1,644 students from last year at this time. FTE has increased by 569 students to 7,069.The increases can be attributed to a variety of factors – the growth in the metropolitan area, the need for education and training due to the recession, and the affordability of the community college. PCC offers credit courses for $40 per credit hour."Students are enrolling at PCC in record numbers for a variety of reasons,"says PCC President Jesus "Jess"Carreon, "among them our reputation for high quality, affordable educational offerings. For many students, the community college is the logical place to turn to prepare for a new career, upgrade a current job, or get retrained to get back into the workforce. The recession may give them a chance to try something new and find a whole new direction in life. We are here to help people wherever they are and wherever they want to go."Another force that may translate to more students, particularly college-transfer students, is the recent dual enrollment programs that give students the opportunity to be enrolled both at PCC and at Portland State University, Oregon State or Oregon Institute of Technology. The new program allows access to both schools with one application.By campus, enrollment for fall term is: Sylvania Campus – The enrollment at Sylvania in southwest Portland shows solid increases. Current numbers show a 4.8 percent increase in total headcount and a 7.7 percent hike in FTE. There are 13,327 students taking classes at the campus.Cascade Campus – The north Portland campus experienced a marginal increase in total headcount and FTE. The campus headcount grew by 0.5 percent to 7,299 while FTE grew by 1.7 percent.Rock Creek Campus – Rock Creek, between Beaverton and Hillsboro in Washington County, has growth that is reaching into double-digits. The FTE count is up by a robust 16.9 percent and total headcount increased by 11.1 percent to 6,821.Open Campus – The campus provides short-term, non-credit and customized training throughout the PCC district, including adult basic education, English as a second language and GED classes, and has also seen steady growth this term. The FTE has risen 8.3 percent from last fall and headcount has risen by 4.1 percent. A total of 19,921 people are taking classes through Open Campus.####